In short: my horse got really ill last end of summer/ early fall.
After many tests he came out with low vitamin E and tested positive for mild PSSM (type 1 p/n).
After doing a lot of research (my vet wasn't a huge help) it really fits with his past quirks.
Poor muscle development
He is funny about saddling and is a bit girthy. He shys from the saddle at times.
Being 'lazy' and seeming uninterested
His seemingly goofy and clumsy personality
He has always been a bare to back up... His feet just don't move really fast.
I always thought this stuff was him. Otto is deaf too so I always figured that had something to do with seeming uninterested.
Anyway, we put him on supplements and got him well again. He lost a lot of weight and muscle though...
Since returning to training again he seems 'OK'. I am fearing a relapse though and have read about exercise intolerance in PSSM horses and I fear my guy may show signs. He does not tie up, but after working w/t/c on the lunge he hangs his head and looks just not right. He has put on weight but still shows a very poor top line and ill thin looking neck...
Do horses recover and return to normal work? Or will this be a constant battle that will keep my horse from returning to moderate work?
I'm wondering if he does have exercise intolerance? His poor muscling could be because he was sick and had 3 months off (winter happened and the vet and my trainer and I all agreed end to just give him time off through the cold to get better). How long do I give him? I'm afraid I'm going to hurt him.
I want to do what's right by him, I can only afford the money and time to keep one horse at a time. I ride 4 times minimum a week usually for 1-3 hours at least consisting of training broken up with chillin while watching other horses school and trail riding. (Of course I don't ride Otto like that, I'd work up to it). But if my dude can't handle the riding I think it's more fair to find him a more suitable living arrangement for him... As much as this would pain me to do it...
Disclaimer: Otto has only been back in training for 2 weeks! And I'm really not sure how much muscle horses put on in the neck and top line through feeding alone? I am just afraid going back into work he will again start going down hill. Last summer we was in training for a month then POOF things got bad really fast. It seemed to me like the more fit he should have been getting with constant consistent riding the worse he actually got muscle and attitude wise (he just gets zoned out sorta?).... I'm afraid this will happen again...
I am paying to keep my horse in constant training at least till this winter. I had some time off (had a baby the end of Dec) but I really want to get back into it now... This has been a huge set back, and it hurts watching the horse I love fall ill like he did. Like I said, I want it to work, but not if he won't be able to take it.
I also hate to say it... And I don't want to sound like a horrible person... But I am also afraid I'm going to sink money and time and spend my summer, like I said I really want to get back into riding now, and in the end just get disappointment and have to start all over. I hope that doesn't make me sound like a terrible person!
Anyone have any advice?
I know I need to keep communication open with my trainer and see how she feels about him, and talk about his attitude, make sure we are all on the same page... Just looking for some outside advice too